Starting a Successful School Year

Believe it or not, school is back in session and that means it’s time to set your students up for success. The first week of school has a huge impact on the year – new teachers are met, and new expectations are set. Prioritizing and planning a school year strategy can help your child get ahead right off the bat. Below are a few tips from our tutors about their best practices for starting the school year strong.


Tips From Our Tutors


  1. Make Use Of A Planner. It can be hard to keep everything in order once the school year kicks back into gear, especially for high school students. Help them to prioritize schoolwork amongst all of their extra circulars and social events right from the start so they understand how to balance everything from the beginning.


  1. Prioritize Preparation. The grading comes at the end of an assignment, project or class, but the preparation throughout is what earns that grade. Make sure your student understands the importance of preparation in the classroom and the positive effects it can bring. Procrastination can be a tough habit to break once it begins, so lead by example and meet deadlines head-on.


  1. Ask For Help Before It’s Needed. It can be challenging to jump back into school after the long summer break, so getting help right away can do wonders for any student. Take some extra time to meet with a teacher, set up a student study group, or schedule a consultation with a Raise The Grade Tutor to pick up where school left off and dive back in confidently.


  1. Daily Reflection. Checking in on progress should be done on a consistent basis, and more often than many of us make time for. Start strong this year by checking in with your child daily to see how he or she is progressing or in what areas he or she might be struggling. Ask your student to think about what he or she enjoys most and begin a dialogue about your child’s goals for every subject from day one.


  1. Balance Work With Play. Doing well in school can be improved when students see success and experience rewards. Make sure they don’t work 24/7 on essays, test prep, or homework. It’s important to have a balance between schoolwork and the fun things they enjoy outside of the classroom. Encourage involvement in a sport or musical group, a regular volunteer group, or even just good old-fashioned get-togethers with friends.


  1. Don’t Forget Sleep! This is a commonly forgotten tip, but an important one. Focusing in school can be difficult for many students, especially when they aren’t getting enough sleep. Institute a no-screen time 30 minutes before bed so your child can relax and prepare for a restful night of sleep.


We hope these tips were useful and help prepare your family for starting a successful school year!

Is Summer Tutoring Right For Your Child?

We’ve been conditioned in Wisconsin to believe that winter is always around the corner, but we can now safely say it – summer is here. Whether your kids are already out of school or finishing up their final exams and end of the year school projects, there’s no denying that everyone will be in vacation mode in just a couple of weeks. While it’s important for students to take some time to relax after working so hard during the school year, making sure that your children keep learning all year round is vital.


The “Summer Slide”

It’s a scary statistic, but students lose the equivalent of an entire month of learning when they take their summer break, and it can be worse when you look at individual subjects. More than 2.5 months of math skills and two months of reading skills are lost during the “summer slide,” according to the National Summer Learning Association. Even worse, this summer slide begins to take effect in first grade, and by the end of sixth grade, students that have experienced summer after summer of learning loss can fall behind their peers by almost two full years. Thankfully, there is an easy fix – summer tutoring.


Success With Summer Tutoring

Two to three hours of tutoring per week during the summer can prevent students’ learning loss, and can set your child way above average when school resumes in the fall. Keeping a well-rounded focus on your child’s learning during the summer not only helps to ensure he or she is ready to pick up right where the school year left off, but it also encourages academic advancement, helps improve information retention, and builds confidence.


Raise The Grade Can Help

While you may be happy with your student’s grades this past year, there are still gains to be made and, more importantly, leaning losses to be prevented. Summer is a great time to start thinking about math and reading remediation, ACT or SAT prep, helping your child aim for the National Honors Society, or simply maintaining his or her learning levels for success during the next school year. At Raise The Grade, we have a team of summer tutors who are ready to jump in and help your student. Whatever your child’s goals may be, we have a perfect tutor for the job.

The Cycle of Achievement

The Cycle of AchievementWe all know the feeling of needing to do something, yet not having the slightest clue how to do it. Sometimes we get overwhelmed even searching for the means to begin a task at hand. This discourages us, and we resort to procrastination.


Students who consistently struggle at school know this feeling all too well. They fall behind, become paralyzed by the amount of make-up work, and eventually abandon the possibility of ever catching up.


Under these circumstances, the biggest challenge a student faces is the ability to mentally hold on to the prospect of turning things around. Because where there is a will, there really is always a way.


Every student has their strong suits and weak points. For chronic underachievers, the issue is never a lack of intelligence, but rather a deeper attitude rift that manifests itself through what appears to be their weakest subject.


Just like the dread of school work, a lack of motivation, and the subsequent disappointment in one’s self for giving up leads to a vicious cycle of procrastination, a strong work ethic, proactive mindset, and positive reinforcement from peers and mentors creates a cycle of achievement.


When given the choice, we all want to choose positive over negative habits and emotions, but often times this reality is fleeting. The cycle of achievement is difficult to realize.

Yet, if a once procrastinating student gets even the smallest foothold within this new, positive rhythm of living, he or she finds it carries far more momentum than their old, negative habits. And with accountability and a strong support network, the cycle of achievement has a real, bona fide shot at becoming self-sustained.

New Year, New Student

new year, new studentWith a new year comes a new semester and an opportunity to correct below-average grades through a refreshed, positive mindset.

Improving students’ grades is most easily achieved and maintained when it is approached as a team effort. Parents offer motivation and guidance, while a private tutor provides the extra push and one-on-one support. Involved teachers will know that students have worked hard and taken the steps to better study habits. When it comes time to report grades, this steady effort and improved initiative on the student’s part can mean the difference between a C and a B.

If students are making New Year’s resolutions to improve their grades, simply committing a goal to memory isn’t enough. Talk about it, write it down, and reflect on the progress daily. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and grades don’t improve overnight. Big changes are accomplished through small daily wins. Consistency is key.

Resolutions don’t have to be life changing to make a lasting difference, but by sharing that unwavering desire to improve their academics with those around them, students will soon discover their goals actualized and grades improved.

Happy New Year!